November 07, 2011, 8:21 PM
//Do you have time to talk to us, Flashover? Blades has some questions about us, growing up.// First Aid comms
//(There's some rumbling around, then an answer.) 'Course, First Aid. Always got time for you two. Where are you?// Flashover comms.
//The base refectory and rec room - is here okay, or do you want us to come to you?// First Aid comms.
//I can come to you. I'll be there in a breem or two.// Flashover comms.
Flashover makes his way into the refectory, gently nudging aside any Autobots in his way. Using his height, he checks over all the tables in the room, trying to find both his youn- the two mechs he was coming to meet. Primus, it was still hard not to think of them as younglings.
First Aid is watching for the big opter to enter the room, having claimed a table tucked in an alcove with a modicum of privacy and returned with three cubes of energon, one of which he's handed off to Blades.
Blades accepts the cube, which he eyes and sniffs inquisitively before dumping its contents down his intakes. He nibbles the edge of the cube as his optics range around for Flashover.
Flashover spots them before they spot him, and he hesitates for a moment, just watching them. Rattling his rotors, he forces himself past the urge to just leave them be, instead crossing the room in a few quick steps and stopping by their table. "Hey." He greets rather awkwardly, carefully keeping his rotors still.
Blades looks up sharply, rotors coming to attention. "Hey," he finally says.
"Hi Flashover," First Aid says. His tank is still churning from earlier- he had /not/ meant to lose his temper with Blades like that and he's feeling guiltily upset about it, but the smile he gives the big opter is genuine. "Good to see you." First Aid scoots onto one of the benches by the table and eyes his cube for a moment before sliding it over to Blades. "I got you a cube too, if you're low."
Flashover glances Blades' rotors for a moment, his own clattering together slightly. He takes a seat on the bench, careful not to bang against the table and upset anything. "I'm not low. Made sure to refuel earlier. Thanks, though." It's a bit of a lie- he's somewhat low, but not enough to be concerned, and Aid sliding his cube over didn't escape him.
First Aid smiles. "Well, if you've got a few minutes to sit with us- um... Could you tell su more about when we were newbuilt?" First Aid says. "Right, Blades?"
Flashover leans back, wincing slightly when his rotors scrape across the wall. Whoops. "Of course I can, First Aid." He says with a smile of his own, shifting around to get more comfortable and crossing his arms over his chest. "What would you like to know?"
"C'n I fly?" Blades blurts into the cube as he continues to nibble. His optics peek over its edge as he sneaks a glance at Flashover, then gives First Aid a quick look.
First Aid smiles, feeling unaccountably relieved to see Blades' interest.
Flashover cycles his optics, processor automatically picking apart the muffled sound and figuring out what Blades' said with practice. "Slag, I don't know. You were supposed to start learning pretty soon before..." He trails off for a moment, flicking his rotors as if that would shake off the thought. "Before. I don't see any reason why you can't, except for not knowing how."
Blades mumbles to himself and continues chewing on the cube.
First Aid pushes the second cube closer to Blades- that's really not good for his denta- and listens intently. "Did - um - did Streetwise and my altmodes work, before?"
"Yeah, they worked. Not sure why they don't know, honestly." Flashover says with a shrug, the motion making his rotors scrape against the wall again. He grimaces, leaning forward again and scooting closer to the edge of the bench. "Of course, they apparently left out some vital fraggin' information anyway. Shouldn't be surprised I don't know that either."
First Aid leans forward to pat Flashover on the arm. "We can move, if you need more space?" He offers.
Flashover chuckles, waving off the offer with one hand. "I'm fine. I just forget that the benches here are so slagging close to the walls." He shoots a mock-glare over his shoulder at the offending wall, shifting far enough forward as he does so that his rotors don't hit it again.
Blades eyes the cube out the corner of his optics and takes it readily, downing the contents in a few gulps. He watches Flashover carefully and hums under his engine.
Flashover cocks an optic ridge at Blades' scrutiny. "What, did somebody paint me bright pink while I wasn't looking again or something?" He asks, glancing down at himself just to make sure he actually /wasn't/ sporting a new paint job.
"Huh? No?" First Aid shakes his head, confused. "Why would someone paint you pink?"
Flashover narrows his optics slightly, looking down at the table for a moment. "It's a long story. And complicated. I don't want to talk about it." He says evasively, turning his attention back to First Aid and Blades and forcing away that particular memory.
Blades's tanks gurgle, letting a scent of rubber into the air. He seems focused on the tabletop, and rather intently -- the optics narrow and his engine noises quiet to a low hum. Other than the noises coming out of his body, Blades doesn't produce many other tones.
"Oh, um, okay," First Aid says, still confused. "Um...I'm trying to think. what else do you remember about Blades when he was newbuilt, I guess?"
Flashover's optics narrow further at the scent, and he reaches out to prod Blades on the shoulder. "What the slag have you been /eating/, youngling?" He asks dryly, settling back again when First Aid asks. "I remember plenty; you want just general information or are you looking for something specific?"
"Anything you want to share wit us, please?" First Aid says hopefully. "And he's been eating drone tubing."
Flashover stays silent for a few moments at that, optic ridges drawing down even as he stares blankly at Blades. "Wait, /what?/" He demanded, rotors clattering together in his confusion. "You've got all this energon here and you're eating /drone tubing?!/"
Blades throws First Aid a black look. "It's a habit," he says flatly. "And it's chewy." He frowns at Flashover. "I'm bored!"
"Being bored isn't any fun. I would've liked to have spent mroe time with you while I was off duty, you know." First Aid says.
Lifeline walks into the refectory, honestly hating the place, but not knowing where else to go when Ratchet chases her out of the repair depot. He STILL doesn't get it. She's USED to being on duty 24/7.
"Boredom isn't a good reason to eat drone tubing." Flashover points out, heaving air out his vents. "You want chewy, eat plasma taffy or something. For Primus' sake, youngling..." He mutters, rubbing the side of his helm in a mixture of frustration and confusion.
First Aid spots Lifeline in the crowded refectory and waves to her. "Hi Lifeline!"
Lifeline turns when she hears her name and spots the young mech. She walks toward him, her optics making note of the two opters seated at the same table.
"So some of them taste better than others," Blades mutters defensively, then sinks as low into the seat as his rotor and blades will allow as he sees Lifeline approaching.
Flashover cycles his optics at Blades' reaction, turning to look at whoever it was First Aid was greeting. He can't really pick out who this Lifeline is- he's heard that name before, though. Something about a clinic and decisions. Frag, he really needed to stop getting overcharged and forgetting details.
Lifeline looks from First Aid to the guilty-looking Blades and the much taller opter mech she's not familiar with. Nodding a hello to the unfamiliar individual, her optics land on Blades for another moment before she turns her attention back to First Aid. "Have you gotten to talk with Ratchet yet?"
First Aid smiles at Lifeline and gets up to hug the other medic briefly. "Not yet, but I was planning to at the end of this shift. I had a meeting with Smokescreen earlier and then Blades and I came here. Oh! You haven't met Flashover, have you? Flashover, this is Lifeline, she was my mentor when I was in Cubicron and helped me there, Lifeline, this is Flashover- he was one of the mechs that helped raise us before we were separated." He pushes the bench out a little bit further and offers Lifeline a seat with a tilt of his helm.
Oh. "...Nice to meet you." Flashover offers a bit awkwardly, not really sure what to say to that. First Aid seems comfortable enough with her though, if the hug is anything to go by, so he simply gives her a scrutinizing once over and falls quiet again, just letting the two talk.
Blades looks at Lifeline and emits a soft growl, then glares at First Aid. He fiddles with the empty cubes on the tabletop, resting them on their edges, sides, and corners.
Lifeline returns Flashover's calculating look before nodding to him and accepting First Aid's invitation. When Blades growls, she simply replies, "You'd better be taking good care of those teeth."
First Aid gives Blades a hurt look as he settles back down on the bench again, crossing his arms on the table in front of him and leaning on them.
Flashover looks between all three of them, optic ridges drawing down further with their interactions. "Is there something wrong?" He asks, rotors clattering together quietly.
Blades thumbs the denta marks on one of the cubes and scowls. Learning about his past, sure...! He makes a soft hiccup and subsides.
First Aid sighs and looks down. "Sorry Blades - I just don't know what questions you wanted to ask Flashover, and well, you weren't asking."
Lifeline looks from Blades to First Aid and back questioningly. "What kinds of questions?"
First Aid shrugs. "Smokescreen suggested- well, sort of suggested that if Blades didn't want anyone to mess with his memory and decrypting it, that we take Flashover up on his offer to tell us about what we can't remember instead, and well, here we are. I just... don't know what to ask!"
Lifeline hmphs faintly. "That's it?" She looks at Flashover again, and finally the stern facade cracks faintly as she attempts a joke. "Begin at the beginning. And when you get ot the end, stop."
Flashover frowns slightly at that, looking at Blades. He's about to say something when Lifeline makes a joke, and he turns his attention to her, confusion obvious on his face. "It's... Not exactly that cut and dry." He says slowly, not entirely sure what to make of that statement.
"You said before that our creators sought you- well, you and Coruscate- to raise us, right?" First Aid asks, hoping to get things started.
Blades nibbles on the edge of the energon cube again and watches Flashover carefully, optics hooded.
Lifeline looks from Flashover to First Aid, but then stops and glares at Blades. "Quit that. Do you want me to have to replace those AGAIN?"
Flashover nods, shifting around to look at First Aid more easily. "Well, they sought out Coruscate. I was just sort of a package deal." He answers, stamping down on the instinctive urge to not bring up his partner. He had to get over that, slag it all. "He was the best slagging teacher on Cybertron." He pauses when Lifeline glares at Blades, optics narrowing slightly.
First Aid smiles at Flashover. "That's what you said before- were you two there from the beginning? With us, I mean?"
"We were- well, not the very beginning, but you weren't more than a breem or two old when we met you." Flashover answers distractedly, rotors clattering together again as he focuses on Lifeline. "Is there a problem?" He asks bluntly, tilting his helm down slightly to look at her better.
Lifeline looks at Flashover, her glare transferring from Blades to the elder opter for just a moment. "No. There's not so long as those teeth don't get broken AGAIN from chewing on things not meant to be chewed on."
Blades frowns, but doesn't take the cube out of his mouth.
Lifeline keeps on glaring at Blades, even though she knows that that usually isn't the way to get him to comply. "You know I'd really rather just let you be, so if you WANT to end up like you were the last time I saw you, keep right on chewing on that thing."
Flashover stares at Lifeline for a few moments, still frowning, before glancing at Blades. "Blades, take that out of your mouth. You're not supposed to eat the cubes; if you're still hungry, I can get you more energon." He says patiently, holding out one hand to take the empty cube from the other opter.
Blades takes another bite of the cube and lets his optics float between Flashover and Lifeline. At length, he pulls that cube out of his mouth and hands it over... then eyes to denta-marks in the second cube, and finally hands it over. "Um... more, please," he says in a low undertone.
First Aid stands up. "I'll go, I have extra ration codes." He pushes his chair back before anyone else can get up.
Lifeline simply nods and leans back a bit as Blades relinquishes the energon containers, as if that's all she was frowning about. Because it is. Three's GOT to be a way to help Blades at least pick better things to chew on if he's going to keep being mouthy. She contemplates the possibilities silently.
Flashover accepts the chewed-on cubes with a small smile, setting them to the side in a small stack. "Thank you, Blades. Wasn't so hard, was it?" He glances at First Aid, heaving himself to his feet as well to let the smaller mech out of the alcove.
First Aid smiles at Flashover and picks up the empty cubes as Flashover sets them down, dumping them into a recycling bin as he reaches the energon dispensers and waits for another mech to finish filling his cube. When the blue mech finishes, he steps out of the way and First Aid steps up to the dispenser, punching a code in and filling two cubes before making his way back to the table.
Blades frowns. "It wasn't," he allows, although he's looking around for First Aid. His rotors twist his blades back and forth over his shoulders slowly. He sighs and watches the two older transformers at the table while he waits for the one closer to his age.
Lifeline finally snaps out of her ruminations and true to her comment about leaving Blades alone, she looks at Flashover. "So. You're one of caretakers for these two?"
Flashover watches Blades' rotors twitch with mild amusement, still standing so that First Aid can easily get past him when he returns. He glances down at Lifeline when she speaks, his own blades clattering together quietly. "For all five of them." He confirms, crossing his arms over his chest idly.
First Aid sets the cubes down on the table before scooting past Flashover with another smile as he sits back down in his spot at the table. "There you are, Blades."
Blades gives everyone a quick glance before he takes one of the cubes and starts sipping the contents. After a few seconds, he gives up on the sipping and just knocks back the entire cube. He apparently can't resist the cube itself... soon he's making tapping noises by striking the corner of the cube on his denta.
"I meant to ask, but... Greenlight, Hot Spot's guardian- she's not in any of our memories?" First Aid asks.
Flashover returns the smile and drops back into his seat with a thud. "Blades, stop that." He says automatically before turning his attention to First Aid, considering. "That doesn't surprise me- I know she worked with your creators, but I don't think you ever met her. I can't say I know her well."
Lifeline stays quiet, letting First Aid and Flashover talk. She watches Blades, though, starting to get an idea in her mind of what might help.
Blades grumbles under his engine noises and sits the cube out as far as his arms can push it. His tanks gurgle and he burps, letting off a small waft of rubber smell. He sighs.
First Aid nods at Flashover and then looks back at Blades. "What do /you/ want to know, Blades? So far I'm asking most of the questions."
Lifeline picks up on the rubber smell and frowns again. She doesn't speak up, though. She doesn't want to interrupt, and she's mentally calculating something else anyway.
Flashover leans back, shoulders scraping lightly over the wall behind him. He's pleased Blades still listens; dealing with the whole rubber smell can come later, as far as he's concerned. "I'll tell you whatever you want to know. No reason for me to lie to you or keep secrets."
Blades' optics narrow as he mulls questions. "Why'd I get put in Cubicron?" he asks in a rush. He crosses his fingers and frowns up at Flashover.
Lifeline looks from Blades to Flashover. Excellent question. She's curious about this one herself.
Flashover's optics darken momentarily, his rotors clanking together before stilling. "You weren't supposed to." He says quietly, looking down at the table and crossing his arms over his chest. "None of you were supposed to. You and Streetwise were headed to Iahex; Coruscate and First Aid were supposed to be here." He lets out a long, slow vent, one hand coming up to rub the side of his helm. "Obviously that all went to the Pit."
First Aid looks at the table and then leans over to wrap an arm around Flashover in a gentle hug. "I remember some of that, a little bit. I showed the recorded stuff to you Blades- remember? YOu told us to run, you'd hold them- whoever they were- off."
"And no one bothered to see where I was? Why, because everyone was looking after Groove?" Blades asks hotly. "That was a long time to be crawling around, and..."
First Aid looks down at the table, guiltily grateful to have ended up with Lifeline watching out for him after they were separated. He leans over to squeeze her arm lightly, trying to express his thanks without saying anything to upset Blades. It was just pure luck.
Flashover's entire body stiffens for a moment, his rotor blades clattering together loudly before he gets himself back under control. "What? No. Primus, no." He says, shaking his head emphatically. "It wasn't like that at all. I didn't /know/, Blades- I would have come for you in a slagging instant if I'd known."
"You didn't know... Everyone says they didn't know!" Blades sniffs disconsolately. "No one wanted to find out? Not even once?" He digs a finger in between his arm plates and watches the metal lift.
Lifeline doesn't acknowledge First Aid's hand on her arm openly, but a slight shift in her posture to lean just a bit more toward him is her way of answering. She nods a bit at Flashover's words, expressing her agreement with the opter's words. She'd have gone after Blades in an instant herself. In fact, she demanded that First Aid bring him to her the MOMENT she found out about him. And that's what happened.
"I /tried/, Blades - really, I did! But I didn't remember what you looked like, or your name, or anything. I just knew I had brothers that I had to find, and no one I could ever find to ask remembered seeing me with anyone before I started working at Lifeline's!" First Aid withdraws his hand from Lifeline's arm to wrap his arms around himself anxiously. "I didn't remember!"
Flashover mutters a low curse to himself at that, shifting to wrap an arm around First Aid's shoulders and pull him closer. "I thought you were dead." He answers bluntly, rubbing Aid's arm without really thinking about it. "All four of you. I didn't have any idea anyone but Hot Spot and Groove had survived until Spot came to me." His rotors clatter together again. "I went hunting for the rest of you for twenty slagging orns- I never found a single thing saying any of you survived. I thought I'd lost all of you."
Blades is not entirely convinced. "You couldn't track us at all? There was *nothing* you could've done?" he asks, looking Flashover in the optics. "Something that big, and no one could find a way to make sure?"
Lifeline finally thinks she can offer some information at this point. "Cubicron would have made tracking all but impossible, Blades. First off, it's underground so anyone above ground won't pick up any signals from within the city. And, there have been enough toxic spills and unpleasantness that tracking within the city is hit or miss at best. She looks at First Aid. "How did you find out about Blades, again?"
First Aid shakes his head. "I didn't know about Blades, specifically- I just... I /knew/, from the first time I onlined at your place, that my brothers were missing and I was supposed to find them. There wasn't any urgency to it, though- just a sense that we were supposed to be together, that it was wrong to be apart. It got stronger as time went on, but well... I didn't know what to do about it, even when it started to feel like I needed to be looking more, right now."
"Primus, Blades." Flashover mutters, unintentionally tightening his grip on First Aid. "I didn't have any contact with the other guardians. I only knew Greenlight from my work, and there was no way in the Pit I was letting Coruscate go anywhere I didn't know where he was." He heaves air out his vents, struggling to drag his emotions back in check. "I didn't even know who to start asking, and you were supposed to be in a totally different area. All I had to go on was where I found Groove, and the tunnels down there... They're a slagging maze. You could have gotten almost anywhere from there."
Blades frowns at the reality of the history, venting hard himself. He scrabbles and scrapes at the molding around the edge of the tabletop.
Lifeline says, "Look, Blades, bottom line is you're here NOW, and I don't see either of these two OR the others letting you get lost OR in that sort of troublt again. All right? And please don't damage that table. They're likely to make you pay for its repairs."
"I'm sorry, Blades, I really am. I wish I could have found you faster." First Aid says.
"Yeah," Blades says, at a loss. "Yeah."
Flashover's engine rumbles lowly, and he gently tugs First Aid a little closer to him. "We would have come for you. I have no idea what you went through, whirlybird, but it will /never/ happen again. I promise." He says quietly, reaching over and laying his hand on Blades' shoulder. He pauses when he realises he used that old nickname, wincing slightly. "Slag. Sorry. Old habit."
Blades sighs and quirks a look at Flashover at the nickname, but settles at length with the hand on his shoulder.
Lifeline looks at Flashover oddly at the nickname used for Blades. Whirlybird? Ooooh-kaaay...